Senior School


Senior School

Welcome to Term 4 and for our Year 12 students the final few weeks of your formal Secondary Schooling at Camberwell Girls.  This is a time of mixed emotions for all students, parents and staff who have shared this journey. There is definite joy and enthusiasm for the students that the end is in sight and the examinations will soon completed and the next stage post school is just around the corner.  These highs however are tinged for many, with thoughts of uncertainty as their connections and relationships are about to change as new networks and associations are created.  A positive aspect of Social Media is the ease with which present friendships are able to be maintained and I feel sure our Class of 2017 will keep close contact with each other and the School as we welcome them into the Old Girls Association.

During the next two weeks, we have many opportunities to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and school journeys of our Year 12 students.  On Thursday 19 October, at our Year 10 – 12 Presentation Night, we will recognise the efforts of students in each of these year groups.  Please ensure you have booked your tickets via trybooking for this night which is held in the Barbara Sutton Hall at 7pm on Thursday 19 October.

On Friday the Year 12 students entertain the Senior School with their own “Celebration Day” and Assembly On Monday 23 October the Leaver’s Service and Valedictory Dinner provide the formal setting for us all to commemorate the journey of the students during their time at Camberwell Girls.

As part of our commitment to support our Parent Community, each year, Camberwell Girls injunction with Camberwell Grammar School host a number of Parent Education Seminars.  These sessions are designed to provide engaging, relevant and evidenced based practical tips and strategies on topics that are focused on enhancing student achievement and wellbeing whilst also providing parents with guidance and support as their children move through the adolescent years.

As we start the planning process for the 2018 Parent Education Seminars, we invite parents to provide feedback and suggestions on the direction and focus for the sessions next year.  As such, please feel free to email Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (, with any comments or suggested topics for sessions.

Next Wednesday 18 October the final Parent Education Seminar for 2017 takes place at CGS at 7.30pm. Paul Dillon, world renowned speaker presents on the topic of Drugs and Alcohol. I would recommend parents look at Paul’s website DARTA prior to the session as the information will certainly provide curiosity around the topic.

Please note that each year all our students in Years 10 – 12 have Paul present to them in February and in this instance we are joining with CGS in a parents only session.

This week in Senior School Assembly, Francis Lu (AMusA 2013 Piano and LMusA 2014 Piano) one of our 2017 School Music Captains played Chopin’s “Scherzo in B Minor” and received a standing ovation.  Frances, who joined the School in Year 6, has delighted audiences for many years now and the entire Senior School are in awe of her magnificent piano expertise.  On behalf of all the Camberwell Girls Senior School we thank you Frances, for your grace and sharing your gift with us over the years.

Our 2017 School Captain, Mia Sieber and Vice Captains, Meagan Kollmorgen and Jacqueline Gu also introduced the Term 4 theme of Trust as part of their GRIT emphasis.  Once again the three leaders ensured a humorous yet very meaningful message was relayed to the audience of students and staff.  I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all the students and staff in the Senior School to thank Mia, Meg and Jacqui for their dedication to the leadership roles and for their most caring and thoughtful approach to all the initiatives they have developed this year.  It has been a delight and a pleasure to work in conjunction with these fine young women.

In this assembly we also acknowledged the many students who have achieved co-curricular Badges for Music, Drama, Sport and Service to the School.  Well done and thank you to all these students.

Molly Ewens Drama Badge
Sherry Gan Music Badge
Elizabeth Gong Service Badge
Stephanie Harker Sport Badge
Caitlin Hong Sport Badge
Natasha Huang Drama Badge
Angela Jia Sport Badge and Drama Badge
Brittany Kitchingman Drama Badge
Tilly Kutey Drama Badge
Josephine La Service Badge
Eling Lai Music Badge
Glyn Lei Service Badge
Isabella Lincke Drama Badge
Sarah MacKinnon Drama Badge
Amy Miao Music Badge
Hannah Moran Service Badge
Isabella Nielsen Drama Badge and Service Badge
Alexandra Sevo Service Badge
Alexandra Sherrin Drama Badge
Sian Stuckey Drama Badge
Veda Surapaneni Sport Badge and Service Badge
Penny Tang Music Badge
Katia Testarotta Sport Badge
Sabrina Tse Service Badge

Our Australian Defence Force (ADF) recipients of the 2017 Long Tan Award that recognize outstanding student Leadership and Teamwork were announced and it is my pleasure to again congratulate Anita Karanasio, Year 12 and Zoe Giagoudakis, Year 10 as our most worthy recipients of this prestigious award.

As noted in previous CamNews articles, the work of Janice Soo in Year 11 along with Ms Cameron and Mrs Manners, Head of English and the OGA to create a Public Speaking Competition was highlighted in the Senior School as the participants, runners up and winners of the event were announced. Well done to all students who braved the stage.

Intermediate Runner Up / Chelim Lee

Intermediate Winner / Diya Dasgupta

Senior Runner Up / Frances Biranji

Senior Winner / Elizabeth Gong – who will speak again at the Year 10 -12 Presentation Night.


The USA History and Science Study Tour – going strong
The bi-annual USA History and Science Study Tour is now firmly established in the Camberwell Girls  calendar.

The Tour has been specifically designed to provide students with as many experiential learning activities as possible, starting at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.  Students undertook the rigorous Advanced Space Academy training program where they lived as astronauts for a week:  building rockets, performing space walks, landing the space shuttle, experiencing zero gravity, filtering Mars water and experiencing 4G of lift force on the Space Shot Simulator were all part of the hands-on program.

Next was a quick trip to Orlando, Florida with visits to the Kennedy Space Centre and Universal Studios.  Whilst at the Kennedy Space Centre, students toured the massive Vehicle Assembly Building where the Apollo and Space Shuttle rockets were prepared for launch.  Today, SpaceX use the launch site for their advanced rockets and spacecraft.  The students also participated in a simulated shuttle launch, designed by astronauts who had flown the shuttle themselves.  The highlight of the day was the chance to have lunch with astronaut Bruce Melnik.  He spoke about his time on the space shuttle and shared stories about his favourite space food; however, it was his description of being accepted by NASA that was most inspirational.  The road to becoming an astronaut was far from easy and proved to be a lesson in passion and perseverance. He talked to the students about the importance of determination, and the need to discover and acquire the skills necessary to achieve a desired goal, which are valuable lessons students can use as they pursue their own goals.  He also encouraged students to consider opportunities in the rapidly growing commercial space industry.

The time in Florida concluded with a visit to Universal Studios, where students enjoyed many of the park’s attractions, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  We also undertook a classroom-in-motion workshop where the girls learnt about physics principles used in designing Universal’s top attraction ride, the roller-coaster ‘Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’.  After learning all about the loops and drops, we all went on for a ride!

We then headed for Washington DC and surrounds.  Highlights included seeing significant historic documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights; walking through the Capitol Building, long recognised as a symbol of representative democracy; standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the famous ‘I have a dream’ speech; and seeing the White House and Washington Monument. Students also visited several of the famous Smithsonian Museums.  We also explored the home of George Washington at Mt Vernon and paid our respects at Arlington National Cemetery, the nation’s most hallowed ground.

The History component of the study tour provided an authentic learning experience that offered students the potential to know history, rather than merely to know about history.  Washington DC played a pivotal role in the struggle for freedom and equality from the War of Independence to the Civil Rights Movement. The Tour provided students with a diverse array of historical contexts from ancient Native American cultures to the current President.

It would have been impossible for students to have experienced truly authentic learning like this from the classroom here in Australia, and the tour extended student learning well past what would otherwise be limited to words and pictures on a page. The girls were exposed to experts in the field, practiced new skills and deepened their understanding of what their future may hold in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM).  I was so proud to see them all grow in confidence and ability whilst expanding their leadership and team work skills.

The students had an amazing trip, returning with many precious memories and stories to tell.  We hope that this little teaser will inspire our current Years 8 and 9 students to consider this Tour in 2019.

Many thanks to the participants who gave their all every day and to my fantastic travelling colleagues, Ms Law and Ms Stevens.
~ Karin Lemanis, Tour Leader; History & Psychology Teacher

Cambodia Trip
This year’s Cambodia Service Learning Immersion Tour was the second year that the trip has been running, and was as successful as last year’s. Some students on the Tour were involved for their second consecutive year, enjoying the opportunity to meet up with friends, and the students who went for the first time were able to make new friends. Being part of this amazing journey included visiting and learning from the enterprises that the Green Gecko Project have established. One of these was called Rehash Trash, where mothers of kids at Green Gecko crochet plastic bags into goods sold at local markets. Despite the fact that many of them couldn’t speak English, whilst we were learning how to crochet we were able to communicate through smiles, laughter, demonstration and dancing.

One of the best things about the Tour was that we were able to build relationships with kids and older teenagers, and just have fun with them without a divide. We started this process of bonding working on the Green Gecko Footprints Farm, experiencing what it’s like to work on a farm, whilst chatting with the kids about their lives. The Green Gecko Project enterprises are wonderful as they provide employment to assist these families in getting out of the poverty cycle, whilst building confidence and encouraging them by learning a skill and participating as equals.

Our Tour group got to take part in some cultural exchange activities where we learnt the first 19 numbers, how to write our names in Khmer and practice the martial art Bokator. This was a wonderful opportunity as we were able to learn from the younger Green Gecko students. One of the important things about service that we learnt was that we aren’t coming in and being their saviours – we have as much to learn from them as they do from us.

We had a very rare and unique experience to be a part of a Cambodian Buddhist Festival called Pchum Ben, meaning Ancestors’ Day. This festival is significant to Cambodian people because family is a very important part of Cambodian culture, and they believe that by celebrating this festival they will assist their ancestors in their journey to the afterlife. While we were at the pagoda, we also got to play some fun games with the Geckos whilst being immersed in Cambodian culture.

Over the final few days we visited the famous temples, such as Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. On the way to our homestay in the Kulen Mountains, we visited the temple Banteay Srei, which was made from pinksand stone. The homestay was beautiful, there were waterfalls along the river and they were very peaceful. This was a really great place to relax and reflect on what we have learnt and what we can take back to Camberwell Girls. It was really nice just before we went into the airport, that many of the Geckos arrived in their truck to farewell us. We all really enjoyed the trip and we are grateful to Mrs Campbell, Ms Giles and Mrs Watkins for leading the Tour and everyone who was involved in making this trip so amazing.
~ Isobel Arnot and Isabella Lincke, Year 10

We are most pleased to celebrate with and acknowledge that during the holidays Year 7 student Isabelle Swindale, dominated the 2017 Victorian Open Short Course Championships (Swimming) at MSAC, achieving the following results in the 12 years age group:

400m Freestyle – GOLD Medal and State Title, placing 1st in Victoria
200m Freestyle – GOLD Medal and State Title, placing 1st in Victoria
400m Individual Medley – GOLD Medal and State Title, placing 1st in Victoria
200m Individual Medley – SILVER Medal, placing 2nd in Victoria
200m Butterfly – SILVER Medal, placing 2nd in Victoria
200m Breaststroke – SILVER Medal, placing 2nd in Victoria
100m Butterfly – SILVER Medal, placing 2nd in Victoria
100m Individual Medley – BRONZE Medal, placing 3rd in Victoria

It is also remarkable to note that Isabella also achieved 4th placings in both the 100m Freestyle and 100m Breaststroke. Congratulations Isabella, that is a heavy load of medals!

I hope our families have a lovely weekend.

Best Wishes,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

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